PI Niche Method 201

Why is it so hard to do business today?

If you come from a background in law enforcement you probably trust very few people because you have been lied to so many times by witnesses, complainants, victims, coworkers on and on.  Studies show you have been lied to much more than an average person, thus affecting your overall level of trust with the general public. You may have seen, investigated, and testified to so many fraudulent schemes that you have become jaded to most people. Your B.S. detector is much more sensitive than the average business person because the of all lies, cons and deceits you’ve witnessed over your career.

However, you are not the only one that has trust issues, your prospects probably trust you either, but for a different reason…because they don’t know you.

Its very hard to conduct business when no one trusts each other

Trust No One has become the new way of business.

Due to today’s “lack of trust” business environment prospects are on guard.  People, business leaders and investors have seen virtually every institution and corporate leader and government official prove themselves completely untrustworthy, so it is perfectly understandable that they are NOT prepared to trust you, NOT anything you say. Businesses and institutions have used every method available to trick people into buying into products and services most of which they don’t need. MLM scams, paid-for lobbyists, pyramid schemes, NLP, psychological techniques, rogue businesses and infomercial garbage have placed all consumers on high alert.

This is why it is so hard to do business with someone who doesn’t know you…

Lack of Trust and Credibility

Even the newspaper The Washington Post has an a column dedicated solely to fact-checking because there is so much deception. They provide the number of Pinocchio’s for each story based the severity of the lie.


The best way to build trust in the investigation business for a new PI is to interact (in-person, face-to-face) with a potential client. There is no better way for the new PI to create trust than the in-person interaction with a client. Unless of course, you show up to the meeting with a grin like this:

No other known marketing technique is better for a new investigator than the in-person meeting; not internet advertising, not pay per click, not direct mail, not radio spots, not newspaper ads. The reward for building trust is a huge one, loyalty. If you do an excellent job that new client will refer you to other clients and peers. The referral is the best lead generation tactic there is in this business. It is an unsolicited free endorsement of your services. The downside of this strategy is, it takes time, a lot of time to build up the clientele.

Trust/Credibility-Building Techniques:

In person-face to face – Benefits: Builds trust — Downside: Only one person

Speech-Presentation – Benefits: Builds trust to many — Downside: Limited amount of people

Traditional Ads (Website/Brochure) – Benefits: Reach many people — Downside: Limited trust, they don’t know you

The root of the word “credibility” is “credo,” which means “I believe” in Latin. Put simply, credibility is the feeling of trust that you inspire in prospects or clients.  Here is a mind map of some common ways to establish credibility for a small business:

Now that we’ve established the best trust-based marketing technique available and one of the best lead generation strategies, how do you get those new clients? Depending on what your specialization is you must first recognize a private investigation business is much different than your average business. You may ask, how? The business is based on privacy and is  extremely private, most clients do not want you airing their cases on your Facebook account or the local news. They may ask you to sign non-disclosure releases and privacy guarantees prior to doing the work.  With the deterioration of personal privacy this is one area where you have to use some discretion and keep your clients privacy locked down.

Also, your screening and qualifying of your customers must be much greater than most businesses because you must know who your clients are and what their motives are. Accepting cases “cold” (without any proper qualifying) is a recipe for disaster. You may even be charged with a crime if you don’t properly qualify your clients.   This is what separates you from many traditional businesses…You must know your client for security reasons.

You must also know your client for marketing reasons:

Marketing to a defense attorney is much different than marketing to a IP attorney (Intellectual Property) or a insurance company lawyer. Once you recognize and acknowledge the differences you can adjust your techniques to cater to the needs of the client. Learn all you can about your clients. Their demographics, their geography, what they like, what they don’t like, etc. The more accurate data you have on your target customer the better your target marketing materials can be and the better ROI (Return of Investment). You must also select your choice of customers and not let just anyone in. If your select a niche where your all your clients are penny pinching whiners its time to find a new niche.

You must drill down your customers demographics and psychographics:


  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Location
  • Education


  • Wants
  • Hopes
  • Fears
  • Problems
  • Hidden Desires
  • Doubts

Once you have done the research and have an excellent working knowledge of your clients, you are now ready to target them with your message. For example, if you have defined your market as defense attorneys you must now attract them. There are many ways to skin a cat. You can do this by placing an ad in a magazine that caters only defense attorneys. Every profession has associations, trade groups and specialized memberships.

Make it your goal to find where your customers are and get your message in front of them.

You can go to a defense attorney conference. You can write an article. The marketing opportunities are endless. Within the defense categories there may be attorneys that only defend certain cases, DUI, White Collar, etc. Finding a customer and providing a message to a niche within a niche is an excellent strategy in the PI business. The customer feels they are dealing with an specialist or expert.  An IP Attorney most likely would hire an IP expert to investigate their case not a generalist with limited experience.

Take a look at PITraininingHQ.com’s target client. We are not trying to appeal to everyone, simply a small target-market where we are experienced and know the client’s demographics and psychographics.

  • Primary Market: Retiring Law Enforcement exploring opportunities
  • Secondary: Current PI looking to break in to a new niche or improve marketing
  • Secondary: Retiring or transitioning professional exploring opportunities

We clearly define who are clients are. You must have something called Product, Market, Fit (PMF ). If there is no fit to your market, your results will suffer.  Or, if your customer feels you are not the fit to handle their case they will go elsewhere.

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